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== WHEELMAN ==
Wheelman is a driving game with a ton of action added into the mix. The game was developed by Midway Studios - Newcastle and published by Ubisoft who are most famous for their Assassin Creed games in my opinion. Wheelman is a pretty decent game and is available for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. The game is based on Vin Diesel and his character Milo Burik. The story to the game is a fairly decent one and the game itself gives the feel of a GTA (Grand Theft Auto) game. I have never been a huge fan of the GTA games or ones similar to it because they seem so unrealistic but still have a big fan base. With Wheelman I feel different. Vin Diesel makes the game better than it actually is but to be fair its a top game. A full on action/driving game with lots of shooting.
The game begins with an associate of Milo (Vin Diesel) robbing something from a building while Milo is waiting in the getaway vehicle outside. After she leaves the building a police car sees her get into Milo's vehicle. Now a pursuit takes place and a whole bunch of other cop vehicles turn up and try ramming Milo off the road. Luckily after a ten minute pursuit Milo drops off his associate and goes to look for some new jobs. Milo is an undercover agent, expert driver, his mission is to infiltrate the Barcelona underworld and eradicate an international security threat. Can you help Milo uncover the truth?
=== GAMEPLAY ===
Wheelman is the type of game that is fairly addictive with all the action it has to offer. It doesn't contain many cutscenes or anything like that which is an added bonus. You play as Milo Burik in the game and he is the only playable character. He does acquire different clothes as you play through the main missions. You can literally drive around anywhere on the map with any car. Its a free roaming based game where you can steal any car and drive it, run over people or objects and you can even do side missions such as a Taxi driver. After a few story missions Milo receives his first gun and can start using it and picking up other weapons from enemies.
Milo can drive almost anything you can see others driving. These vehicles include Cars, Motorcycles and even trucks. Milo has the ability to use special skills whilst in a vehicle. One of these abilities give him the option of using boost every time his focus meter fills up. Focus meter fills up for reckless driving at high speeds. Later you can use a few new abilities that use focus. Once you've used you focus you will need to get the meter full before you use it again. When your driving you can drift round most corners easily to help increase your focus meter more quickly. Two of the best abilities on the game are called Aim Shot and Cyclone. The Aim Shot slows down time for you to shoot at roadblocks or anything in your way. Doing so creates a path for you to get through safely. The Cyclone ability is my personal favourite and can help you out a lot. It spins the car round to face the opposite direction so you can open up firing on oncoming vehicles. Cyclone helps a lot when your being hunted down by maniacs behind you. Milo is the type of character that is relaxed and knows what his doing, his main skills are when his driving.
Milo isn't just skilled at driving because he can even use his fists and weapons when hes in trouble. He can also Airjack vehicles. If your car is severely damaged and you need a new one quickly then airjack comes in handy because you can steel someones car without losing much speed. Milo can also shoot whilst driving to shoot out tyres or even enemies with guns. There are almost unlimited amount of actions/moves Milo can do its just finding them all out. Do side mission for different mobs and gangs to help get your rep up. Do other missions such as causing as much destruction as you can. Have races against other races and do what ever means possible to win. Police will come after you for anything you do wrong but luckily there are garages spread out the city where Milo can go to evade them and spray paint his car. Overall Wheelman is a top driving action game that has a lot of side missions and quests to undertake.
=== GRAPHICS & SOUND EFFECTS ===
The graphics to Wheelman are fairly good in places. The characters look a little small in my opinion and a little weak in how they look and are presented. The city is brilliantly designed and its hard to find buildings looking the same. Also the driving action sequences look spectacular and almost look like an average Vin Diesel movie which is great. The gun scenes and graphics are fairly decent as well. I was also impressed with the scenery in the game because it looks beautiful most of the time. Most of the cars look a little shallow in terms of graphics but the damage the cars take is incredible. Overall I was quite impressed with the graphics especially the damage the cars take.
The sound effects are really well featured in this game. The best sound effects come into play when your in a massive scene trying to evade police, enemies and other bits. They sound absolutely fantastic when your driving at a high speed whilst being fired at and rammed into by other vehicles. Also Vin Diesel is the voice of Milo Burik which is always a good thing right?. Overall the sound effects are really good to the game and the music is pretty decent as well.
=== DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY ===
The game varies with the difficulty and this is basically because of all the side missions that are available. The main story missions are pretty simple but a little bit bigger than the side missions. Taxi driving missions are simple to complete but to get an S ranking they can be very difficult because your not allowed to crash or you'll never make the time limit. Also the causing destruction missions can be tricky especially if you cant find anything to destroy except for your own car. The controls to the game are very simple to remember and to get the hang of. Overall the difficulty to the game is suitable for all gamers.
The length of the game is another matter. The main story missions will take a maximum of just 12 hours. However don't let this put you off because with all the side missions your looking at a total of 20+ gameplay hours which is fairly respectable. Wheelman is the type of game that can last weeks because of the variety in it. You can also go through the game more than once or you can just go on it to do what ever you want. Overall I feel the length of the game is reasonable.
=== ACHIEVEMENTS ===
Wheelman has some fairly easy achievements on the game. It has a total of 50 achievements to get and most if not all can be acquired on one play through. Most are acquired as you play through the main story. Other achievements are acquired by doing certain things like jumps, abilities or by smashing a certain amount of cars to bits. Most are easy but there are a couple that can be quite tricky. Some of the more tricky achievements involve getting certain ranks on the side missions. For example one is to get an S rank on a taxi mission and to be fair its quite difficult. Overall 50 achievements is perfect for this type of game.
=== GOOD BITS ===
*Non-stop action from the start of the game to the finish of the game.
*Cause endless amount of destruction and watch cars get blown up to bits.
*The story to the game is a simple one to follow and its fairly intriguing.
*Lots of different side missions as well as a main story to play.
*Vin Diesel is the character you play. What more needs to be said?
=== BAD BITS ===
*Its not the longest story to a game and could benefit more with a bigger story.
*I found the game to be a little easy and you cant change the difficulty either.
*It does get a little repetitive at times especially if you concentrate on doing certain missions.
*There isn't much in terms of downloadable content.
*No multiplayer options online or offline!
=== FINAL THOUGHT ===
I first played the game on Xbox 360 after downloading a demo and I was very impressed with the first level they allow you to play. I would say its the best opening level to any game I have ever played. After playing it I decided to buy the game about 3 days later and I am still pleased with it to this very day. With all the action the game has to offer you cant go wrong and I prefer this more than the GTA games. The game manual is a fairly good one and contains most information you would need. There isn't a wide range of different cars available on the game and most of them look like the olden time cars. However most cars on the game are actual cars like a Vauxhall Astra. Its rare to find a game like the GTA series that list proper cars.
I bought the game for a very reasonable price. It cost me about £8.50 from Amazon and that was for a used copy but it was in great condition. The game is definitely value for money and for a brand new copy of the game your looking at £12.91 from Amazon including postage fees. Overall its worth every penny for a brand new copy or used. Its a top game and has a lot to offer. I have seen the game going a little cheaper in my local Game shop and Gamestation shop.
The game has an age rating of 15+ because it contains moderate violence and criminal behavior as well as some blood and gore. Overall Wheelman is definitely a game I would recommend to gamers especially if your a fan of the GTA series or Just Cause series. I would also recommend it to fans of Vin Diesel. I would give Wheelman a very respectable 7/10!
Review also on dooyoo under the username: simon020187!
Whelman is an 'open world' game of driving cars and shooting at people that relies on Vin Diesel (what was he thinking!?! And I remember when he had too much integrity to do 2Fast2Furious!) to separate it from the crowd as driver for hire (or taxi driver as they're known here in the UK) Milo Burik. The setting is another area where the developers have looked out the window and realised they're treading on familiar territory and as a result we have Barcelona, or at least the Scottish developer's vision of Barcelona with a dashing of familiar landmarks in the right places.
Something I didn't know about the game but kind of makes sense after seeing the tv promos for it is that Wheelman was also meant to be a film. All I can say is that I doubt many tears were shed over that cancellation..
The slightly obvious comparison between Wheelman and Grand Theft Auto is on reflection rather unfair on the much more accomplished GTA and seems to be based solely between the links of driving and shooting in an open city.
For anyone familiar with this developing genre Wheelman is more Driver 2 than GTA and I don't mean that in a good way as I hated Driver 2. The connection here is the dreadful and rather unnecessary on foot sections. The driving does fare much better though.. At first... The ridiculously arcadey and throwabout handling of the vehicles is very fun at first and if isolated from the rest of the game things like the 'airjack' feature, where you jump from one moving car to another -bear with me- go beyond gimmicks and are genuinely interesting additions to the game type and a nice contrast to the more serious GTA.
The real problem arises in the context of the game's missions where the poor design of Wheelman can make it an incredibly frustrating experience. After a few misssions in the game it becomes clear that you're participating in an endurance test rather than doing genuine missions with many of these tests putting you in control of a vehicle and getting you to drive it from one side of the city to the other. The problem here is that your vehicle has a health bar and you're beset with unshakeable and respawning enemies in cars from the off. It becomes clear early on that shooting them does little to help because the numbers will quickly reappear and you'll only have just slowed yourself down.
Trial and error gaming, padding, difficulty spikes.. Whatever you want to call it, it's awful to play. This is a game which is a much more enjoyable watch than experience and there is some tongue in cheek fun to mbe had from watching Vin ham it up with his acting between missions but there's no escaping the reality that this is a sad swansong for Midway who've contributed so much to gaming for decades.
The movie of Wheelman got canned but as they already had this in the works it was still released.
This game features Vin Diesel as Milo Burik, he is in Spain Barcelona to fight crime, thats pretty much it. What a great plotline! Thankfully the gameplay here is above average and will keep you playing despite the lacklustre storyline.
The game is a mix of the freeroaming GTA action and gunplay you have come to know and love with a few added extras. The shooting is basic lockon, pull the trigger stuff nothing to write home about. As the game is called wheelman you will be behind the wheel most of the time, the driving physics in the game are very forgiving and make it easy to pull off nice drifts and jumps while looking great. It does feel a little dumbed down though to make it accessible to everyone.
You can also do some pretty fancy special moves you can do a cyclone where Milo flicks his car 180 and the game goes into slow motion shooter mode so you can target enemies and take them out with ease and style, you can also do the same facing forwards but its not as fun as the cyclone. Want to get a new car, you could get out and jack someone but far more appealing is the airjack, just open your door and if your close enough you can leap out onto another car and nab it for yourself!
The games story is quite short compared to GTA but is extended with various side missions you can take on whenever you want so you could spend a good 30 hours on this if you like it.
The Wheelman is a game based on a film that was never actually made. I know what your thinking - the game is probably bad as all movies turned games have the same poor gameplay. I was equally sceptical of this game but as it turns out the game was actually pretty good - I was impressed.
Without going to much into the very confusing story, the basic plotline is: You are a secret agent called Milo sent into Barcelona in order to infiltrate the underground crime circles and bring them down. Of course, to gain there trust you must do a number of jobs for them and it just so happens your a pretty handy driver. Even though it may sound like an interesting story you'd be surprised at how badly its presented - do not buy this game if your looking for a good plotline.
This game is an all out intense action - most of the missions involve your tearing through the sunny streets of Barcelona in stolen vehicles with stolen goods in the bad. The game isn't all driving however, the action is incorperated within the actual driving part. For example - you can pick points off an enemies car to shoot, i.e tires, bonet, wheels and watch them go up in flames. Even more crazy you can simply jump from car to car jacking people while travelling at high speeds.
Overall the game is good: good graphics, good frame rate, good gameplay. However, this game is all out action so do not buy it if your looking for a deep story or anything like that.
A game of a film starring Vin Diesel which was never actually made. As it happens the bald, Muscly one is such a massive gamer that he owns a game company and astonishingly, given that games of films are usually awful, this is different.
In truth, it's probably just as well the Wheelman film wasn't made if the game is anything to go by, as its dialogue is dreadful and its plot hard to follow. But you can forgive such failings in a game as long as it provides intense action and has some good ideas, and Wheelman delivers on both counts.
Plus, it looks superb, and is set in an impressively realistic Barcelona. You play Vin Diesel playing Milo Burik, getaway driver, who secretly works for some Government agency and is on a mission to infiltrate Barcelona's criminal gangs. Since he's Vin, they all trust him, and it's not long before you're nicking a lorry-load of porn and guns from Romanian gangsters, then mashing the countless cars they send to chase you to smithereens.
Wheelman's big idea is using vehicles as melee weapons - a flick of the right-stick when you're alongside a car acts like a vehicular punch, and when you've landed enough , you'll get a cinematic sequence showing your prey crashing and burning spectacularly. Plus, there's a focus mode in which you can loose off accurate shots at drivers, tyres, fuel tanks, and so on of vehicles in front or behind you, and you can even "air-jack" cars by driving up behind them and jumping into them. All of which is great fun, as long as you aren't looking for anything remotely cerebral, and with a vast amount of story missions (at any given point, you can choose between several) plus countless sub-missions, this is a meaty game that could keep you occupied for months, Perhaps Vin should give up the day job.
Wheelman-An average game featuring a hollywood name?
The struggling publisher Midway has finally gone down under. With poor, low selling games like Hour of Victory, Blacksite and more, this has come back to bite the once legend of Arcade gaming and now they are currently being bidded for by other companies. But for some reason, Ubisoft decided to make sure that Wheelman was released. After three years of development, Vin Diesel's new game is finally on shelves despite Midway's downfall. If this didn't have Vin Diesel behind it, I probably would have avoided this, but because of how much I loved The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay on the old Xbox, I hoped that the same kind of awesomeness would translate to this game too. Does its Diesel powered engine take it far?
You are Milo Burik, an undercover agent who is spectacular in a car apparently. He needs to get deep into the three gangs running the city by doing what ever it takes, and stop what could be a global threat. That's about as deep as it goes unfortunately. The problem with Wheelman is that it's quite confusing to follow. You're not sure who's stabbing who in the back because you're constantly switching sides, and the prescence of some characters in the game can be odd as you have no clue what their purpose is until the game of the game. And let's just say that Burik is not a very likeable character, as he's constantly bragging about how he's 'the best damn driver in Barcelona' which to be honest is probably far from true. His cocky and care-free attitude gets old before the 10 hour campaign is over and it becomes very grating towards the end. Milo is no Riddick, to say the least.
Wheelman is a single-player only open world game where rather than mixing driving and shooting like GTA or Saints Row, the game focuses a lot more on the driving style of gameplay. You can treat it like an open world game and drive to your next objectives/missions, or if you're the lazy type just use your map to start missions. Story missions can be started instantly from the map and if you want to do side missions you can get in a vehicle then start the mission from the map. There's very little reason to explore the open world, aside from finding hidden jumps and cat statues which reward you with only achievements. It not only cuts down on time if you use the map, but it's a lot more convinient. Unlike Godfather II, Wheelman has one large map of Barcelona, which isn't even an accurate re-creation and is far too big as driving everywhere is a pain. It's also complete uninteractive, making Wheelman's open world a waste.
However, things mostly fare better in terms of core gameplay. At least when driving anyways. Missions are a combination of driving and on-foot missions which are like night and day. First the good-driving in Wheelman is great thanks to fine handling and a quite nifty new innovation. The game lets you perform vehicle melee, a move initiated by swerving the right analog stick either left, right or forward depending on which direction you want to attack. It adds something quite new to the genre as it's a move that can cause huge explosions as you ram another car into the wall and cause it to blow up. The missions requiring you to drive can be a bit stale, as basically you're always either stealing another car or driving to escape or something along those lines, but the awesome car melee combat makes Wheelman quite innovative in terms of driving in the open world genre. There's quite a selection of vehicles to choose from too, including motorbikes, sport cars, bigger trucks and even bigger tankers and depending which you use, taking out enemies can be either easy or quite a challenge.
The other elements in Driving come in the form of hijacking and other methods of combat. If your car is about to explode you can perform a move where you jump from your car to a nearby car. It's not new-Pursuit Force on the PSP let you do this move as well, but here it's with shinier graphics. There are also a couple of combat manouvures too, which can greatly assist you when you're under attack. These are the Cyclone and Precision Aim moves, which can only be used by driving fast and doing other dangerous stunts to fill up an adrenaline meter. Once it's full enough you can perform either a precision aim-a move which you target at an enemy in front of you, and the cyclone, where you spin your vehicle around to kill enemies from behind. The cyclone in particular is pretty awesome-especially on motorbikes where you spin around on your bike while keeping steady. It will wow people passing by and never gets old.
Unfortunately, the other half of gameplay is pants. That is the shooting portions of the game, where you must exit the vehicle and shoot enemies on foot. There are so many reasons why these sections suck. Weapons aren't very powerful meaning it could take a whole clip to kill an enemy; the A.I. is pathetic as they actually stand next to explosive barrels which are littered around the level, there are instances where you die from cheap deaths as explosive barrels randomly blow up next to you from nowhere, targeting sucks as if an enemy is too far away you can lock onto them and free aim sucks too. Milo takes so much damage that while you can suffer from cheap deaths you only die on those occasions and the cover system sucks as, well, there is none:P. You must instead crouch under objects to take cover, which is clunky and hard to come to grips with. In short, these sections are lame and hurt the overall game.
The story missions can become a bit repetitive after a while, but the action is broken up by amusing side missions, which in truth, are actually a bit more fun than the main campaign. There are several different types of side mission. There's Taxi, the Crazy Taxi style missions where you must drive from one point to another, Rampage where you must destroy as much property as you can a la Burnout and many more which while borrowing elements from other games are great fun. They're quick, easy to get sucked into and very addictive. The only thing is that to unlock more side missions, you must not only play through the main storyline until you've unlocked every area of Barcelona, but also get at least an A ranking to unlock them, which is easier said than done in some cases. However, the side missions provide plenty of pick up and play fun and there are over 105 of them so there are plenty of missions to dig your teeth into.
Graphically, Wheelman can be quite mixed. On the one hand, the car models look very good, with smooth edges and nice colours. Vin's character model looks pretty good, though you'll notice that some of his clothes are quite blurry. And the city looks pretty good, considering how large it is, though some areas repeat too often. Unfortunately, there are some really ugly issues. Aside from Diesel, characters look poor with rough edges and weird clothes textures which look constantly creased. And the animation during gameplay is poor, particularly Milo's running animation. The animation during cutscene isn't much better, as the lip synching is quite weird. The explosions are okay, but inconsistent as sometimes causing huge damage doesn't cause explosions, yet doing less punishment will cause one. Sometimes Wheelman will wow you visually, yet at other times it will make your eyes bleed.
The soundtrack is the highlight, with a huge mix of music from different genres like Rap, Rock, Pop and more as well as some nice themed music to go alone with the Barcelona setting. Unfortunately, the rest of the sound goes downhill. Diesel does a good job of acting, but everyone else sounds average with horrible stereotypes plauging the game. The dialogue is also laughable, with more cheesy one-liners than you can shake a stick at, adding to the action film vibe, but taking away from the seriousness. Cars sound good, but most of the sound effects are underwhelming with poor gun firing and average explosions. Overall, the only good thing about the sound is the soundtrack, and that's not nearly enough to make up for poor acting and lame sound effects. It's also worth noting that there are some sound glitches, like jumping music and voice work cutting off mid sentance.
Wheelman is a bit low on value for money. The main quest will take about 7 hours to complete, though that will be increased to about 17 hours with the side missions added on. After that, there's nothing to do. There's only finding cat statues or jumps, but whats the point aside from achievements? Speaking of which, the 50 achievements are rather bog standard. Complete X number of certain side missions, perform X number of hijack jumps and find X number of cat statues. It's quite generic, and only really rewards you if you can get S rankings on all side missions, which is ridiculously hard unless you have true skill. There isn't any stand out achievements and the list becomes quite a grind. On top of the other issues with the value for money, the only Live support is DLC, and with Midway now defunct, it's questionable whether there will be DLC now.
Is Wheelman good, bad or ugly?
Wheelman is a fun game for a good few hours, with its awesome action and fun side missions, but after that the story missions grow old, the technical issues pile up and the game becomes more of a daily grind rather than being an enjoyable experience. There's just not enough depth here to satisfy most gamers, which is a shame because the new melee combat is unique and worth exploring, but only with either a rental or a very cheap purchase if you can find one. Wheelman, in the end, can be a fun game for a while but ultimately grows old and doesn't keep you engaged across its seven hour campaign, and there isn't enough content here to justify a £40 purchase. If you're just looking for some cheap thrills then by all means give this a go, but everyone else should stick to GTAIV, Saints Row 2 or Crackdown for free-roaming thrills.
Wheelman was released on March 27th, 2009 for the Xbox 360, Playsation 3 and PC. It's rated 15+ for moderate violence and criminal behaviour and can be purchased from £30-40.
Vin Diesel Is The Wheelman: Action film megastar Vin Diesel and his Tigon Studios are again blurring the lines between entertainment mediums, this time collaborating with Midway in the design and production of Vin Diesel: Wheelman to ensure an edge-of-your-seat gaming experience. Diesel's voice and likeness will appear as the game's main character, expert Wheelman Milo Burik.